Free agency is the best way to acquire superstar talent these days, but finding stars in the draft is considered a skill, especially for scouts, who are watching hours and hours of film on so many players.
For this piece, we will rank the five best draft picks in Bucks history. The number one choice may be obvious, but the other four should keep fans guessing.
5. Michael Redd
The Bucks drafted Redd with the 43rd overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft and watched the lefty turn into one of the deadliest shooters the game has ever seen.
After averaging just 2.2 points per game as a rookie, Redd jumped up to 11.4 points in his second season. Following his third year which saw him put up 15.1 points, Redd took his game to another level in his fourth season. He averaged 21.7 points and shot 35.0 percent from beyond the arc.
From 2004-2009, Redd averaged 23.5 points for the Bucks. He only made one All-Star team, but Redd was definitely ahead of his time in terms of volume shooting from deep.
Redd finished his Bucks career with averages of 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He’s Milwaukee’s all-time leader in 3-point field goal attempts.
4. Marques Johnson
Johnson is currently the Bucks’ TV analyst. He just so happens to be one of the best players in franchise history.
The Bucks selected Johnson with the third overall pick in the 1977 draft. Marques played his college ball at UCLA. During his rookie season in the NBA, Johnson put up 19.5 points and 10.6 rebounds. He made the game look way too easy for a youngster.
Johnson averaged 21.2 points and 6.9 rebounds from 1979-1984. He made the All-Star team four times with the Bucks.
Milwaukee traded Johnson to the Los Angeles Clippers in the offseason of 1984. He finished his Bucks career with averages of 21.0 points and 7.5 rebounds. Johnson is the Bucks’ all-time leader in offensive rebounds with 1,468.
3. Glenn Robinson
The Bucks drafted Big Dog with the first pick in the 1994 draft out of Purdue. The Indiana native was a scoring machine for Milwaukee.
As a rookie, Robinson averaged 21.9 points and 6.4 rebounds. He wound up making the All-Rookie team.
From 1996-2002, Robinson put up 21.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists for the Bucks in 488 games. He made two All-Star games as well.
The Bucks traded Robinson to the Atlanta Hawks in 2002. He finished his Milwaukee career with averages of 21.1 points and is the all-time Bucks leader in usage percentage.
The Greek Freak was a skinny kid when he came into the NBA as the 15th overall pick in the 2013 draft.
Fast forward to today, and Giannis is basically a Greek God for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo won the 2018-19 MVP award and guided Milwaukee to the best record in the NBA. He averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists.
Giannis was having an even better season in 2019-20 before play was suspended due to COVID-19. Antetokounmpo was putting up 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists and the Bucks once again had the best record in the league.
Most pundits had Giannis winning the MVP award again as well.
In 522 games with the Bucks, Antetokounmpo is averaging 20.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Along with his MVP trophy, Giannis is also a four-time All-Star and the 2017 Most Improved Player of the Year.
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
This was obvious. The Bucks drafted Kareem with the first pick in the 1969 draft out of UCLA. He won the 1970 Rookie of the Year Award by averaging 28.8 points and 14.5 rebounds.
Kareem won the 1970-71 regular-season MVP award. He averaged 31.7 points and 16.0 rebounds for Milwaukee. The Bucks also won the championship that season. Abdul-Jabbar was named Finals MVP after putting up 27.0 points and 18.5 rebounds in the four-game sweep over the Washington Bullets.
The Bucks ended up trading Kareem to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he wound up winning five more titles and becoming the greatest scorer in NBA history. Abdul-Jabbar finished his Bucks career with averages of 30.4 points and 15.3 rebounds.